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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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Women and Feminism: Contemporary Issues

Course Code: WSGR 1101
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the social processes and structures which shape women’s lives. Beginning with an introductory review of feminist movements and theoretical perspectives, the course will survey a range of contemporary social issues in Canada. It will also explore changes in women’s experiences and perspectives within a dynamic and increasingly global context.

Course Content

Theoretical Foundations of Women’s Studies

This section addresses primary theoretical perspectives of Women’s Studies as they have emerged, historically and recently. It includes all or some of:

  1. A history of Women’s Studies and women’s movements, within Canada and/or globally
  2. Social constructionism as a theoretical framework
  3. Essentialism within feminist theorizing and activism
  4. Creation/enforcement of norms and margins; moving margins to center; privilege and oppression; defining hegemony
  5. Theoretical perspectives: anti-racist, Marxist, socialist, liberal, radical, cultural, standpoint, and anarchist feminisms and womanism
  6. Feminism as a critique of binary thinking
  7. Integrating race, class, sexuality, colonialism, (dis)ability, and gender.

From Theory to Praxis

This section applies a feminist theoretical lens to contemporary social and political issues. Topics covered may include all or some of:

  1. Women and education, science, and technology
  2. Women, health care, and medicine
  3. Language as a site of oppression, power, and resistance
  4. Violence against women
  5. Women and the media: body representations
  6. Globalization and poverty
  7. Women and the arts
  8. Women in prison.

Expanding Horizons and Breaking Boundaries

This section explores social change, social movements, and acts of resistance. Liberation struggles may be discussed, at both individual and societal levels in sites ranging from the body to the arts to political domains to civil disobedience. Topics covered may include all or some of:

  1. Women and the body: sexual scripts and their transgression
  2. The racialization of women’s sexuality
  3. Lesbian and queer theories of gender
  4. Violating gender roles: subversive strategies and identity politics
  5. Social change strategies and counter-resistance to social change
  6. Creating community and creating culture: art, language, performance, literature, and music.

Methods of Instruction

The course will employ a number of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some or all of the following:

  1. Lecture
  2. Audio-visual presentations
  3. Small group discussions
  4. Seminar presentations
  5. Classroom discussion
  6. Guest lectures.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy and will include both formative and summative components. Evaluation will be based on some or all of the following assignments and projects.

Class Participation and/or Presentations 10%
Exams and Quiz 60%
Group Workshops including discussion and presentations 5%
A Research Portfolio integrating creative art, research skills, and academic analysis 10%
Term Paper, Essay or Written Assignments 15%
TOTAL   100%

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, the successful student should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the relevance of feminist approaches for understanding and improving the quality of women’s lives;
  2. Explain and evaluate the issues, context and consequences of the women’s movement, and the changing situation of women, especially within a Canadian context;
  3. Discuss the varied perspectives of feminist theories and apply these to contemporary issues;
  4. Explain and evaluate the ways in which gender is constructed and perpetuated through social processes, organizations, and institutions;
  5. Explain the ways in which women’s interests are represented by social policy and assess the potential for the feminization of policy;
  6. Recognize and identify the diversity in women’s situations and perspectives;
  7. Explore and integrate academic approaches with artistic representation within the context of contemporary feminist issues;
  8. Explain the global dimensions of gender issues;
  9. Demonstrate the relevance of course materials to their own lives and experience.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.